Let’s talk about Peter Parker. Don’t know the guy? Does whatever a spider can. He’s Spider-Man.
Supposedly, it’s a pretty good time to be a Spider-fan. A new series and a new film. It’s great stuff.
Or so it should be. I pre-ordered my copy of the new Amazing Spider-Man #1 months ago, and although I didn’t end up getting the cover I spent weeks searching for (the Marcos Martin variant), the one I did get my hands on was better than expected (the Pop Mhan variant).
Pretty nice right? And its visual appeal only get’s better when it’s actually held in your hands. And then you open it.
Don’t get me wrong, Amazing Spider-Man #1 was a good read, just like I loved the Amazing Spider-Man 2, it was a really entertaining movie. But after all the hype, I feel like they both could have been a little better. With over a year of the so-called ‘Superior Spider-Man’ swinging about, I couldn’t wait to get Peter Parker back in the drivers seat. I enjoyed the antics of Otto Octavius, but I’m a fan of Spider-Man for a reason. And to me, Peter Parker is the only real Spider-Man. Kaine? He’s pretty cool. Ben Reilly? Alright I guess. Miles Morales? Not too shabby. But none of them have anything on Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man.
And so, when I opened my new comic book and sat down to read, or when I got comfy in the cinema, twice, and the title credits rolled, I prepared myself to be wowed. And in both instances, to an extent, I was left fairly satisfied. But now that I think about it, in hindsight, I realised that in both cases, I wasn’t truly wowed by either story. In the comic book, the main story was alright, but it was the back-up teaser-tales that seemed more interesting, and whilst the film was visually spectacular, some things just seemed unnecessary.
Another issue I have is that although a lot seemed to happen, at the same time, not much really happened. In the comic book, Spider-Man swings round mostly in the buff, fights some D-List villains and tries to figure out what has gone on in his life whilst he’s been absent. Each storyline left off from ‘Superior’ is edged forward ever so slightly, but none of them in a significant way until the last page. After claiming he will no longer “work with” Spider-Man to the general public, Peter once again neglects his responsibilities as the head of ‘Parker Industries’ to go web-slinging, so not much progress on that front. The Avengers, whose intellect had been wildly played down in ‘Superior’ are still unsure how to react to him, so not much progress on that front either. And although it could be argued that severing the ties between Parker Industries and Spider-Man could be a big step, really the only progress I was interested in in the whole issue was Anna Maria’s reveal that she knows his secret at the end.
Likewise, in the film, Peter and Gwen’s relationship, whilst moving forward, doesn’t actually progress much further forward from the first film until the last 30/40 minutes when Peter promises to follow Gwen wherever she may go, shortly before she bites the dust. Big things, sure, but the whole on-again-off-again romance up until that point seems pointless at times in my opinion, and I already knew she would die at the end anyway.
And then there’s my favourite part of the films, the villains. Unfortunately, Jamie Fox’s Electro spends half the film bumbling around or incarcerated, Paul Giamatti’s Rhino only shows up for a few minutes to bookend the film, and Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin gets taken out pretty easily (which I suppose makes sense, considering he had been a villain all of ten minutes, but regardless).
All-in-all, I feel like whilst April 30th provided a good helping of Spidey-filled fun, none of it really met my expectations. That’s not to say I’m not excited for what’s next; I have faith in both Dan Slott and Marc Webb to tell a good story. It’s just that after the rather mediocre ending to the Superior Spider-Man #31, I’m still waiting for Spider-Man to once again prove himself to be truly Amazing.
On a side note, that Shazam preview of the Sinister Six? Pretty awesome. It’s the promise of things to come that keeps me interested.